In early March, four members of the Oneida County Farm Bureau participated in the annual Taste of NY Reception that took place at the New York State Capitol. In attendance at the event were OCFB President John Collins, his wife Samantha, and Board Members Pat vanLieshout and Benjamin Simons.

The Oneida County menu that was served up consisted of mashed potatoes from Pryputniewicz Potato Farm in Waterville, sour cream from Hood in Vernon and bacon from Keith James’s farm in Verona. OCFB also served two varieties of wine from Prospect Falls Winery in Prospect, jack cheese from Jack and Sylvia Stoltzfus in Vernon Center, apples from North Star Orchards in Westmoreland and chocolate and maple milk along with some cheese curds from Collins Farm & Creamery in Lee Center.

Taste of NY is a long-standing annual tradition in which the farmers from most county Farm Bureaus around the state can showcase their finest food products. This year, the OCFB delegation was honored to proudly serve our homegrown and homemade products personally to Gov. Kathy Hochul, along with several New York State Senators and Assemblymembers, as well as numerous commissioners from all around the state and New York City.

OCFB participates in Taste of NY and Lobby Day at the Capitol

(L – R) Oneida Co. Farm Bureau member Benjamin Simons, Ag Commissioner Richard Ball, Gov. Kathy Hochul and Oneida Co. Farm Bureau President John Collins. Photo courtesy of John Wagner, NYFB

On March 5, during Farm Bureau’s lobby day, the Oneida County delegation had appointments with several state legislators. During these interactions we met and discussed potential funding for agricultural programs, research and development, conservation programs and county fairs. Some of the legislators met with included State Sen. Joe Griffo and Assemblymembers Marianne Buttenschon, Brian Miller, Ken Blankenbush and Robert Smullen and our adopted Assemblywoman Deborah Glick (from New York City).

(As a point of interest, most of the upstate Assemblymembers represent a population equivalent to two or three counties. Assemblywoman Glick from lower Manhattan represents the same amount of population, but it’s all in just a few city blocks.)

Farm Bureau and its members work hard to help keep agriculture well represented throughout the State of New York.

by Ben Simons